For many of us the idea of self-care often starts with candle lit bubble baths behind closed doors with music on and a glass of red, drowning out the misery of the workday, the daily rush to get things accomplished or the “Mommmm, what’s for dinner?” shouts.
Whether it originated from social media, movies or something else, it’s hard to ignore the fact that our ideas of self-care orbit around escapism in order to “reconnect” with ourselves.
But we’d like to ask… does this notion of self-care is ideal if we have created a life that needs escaping from in the first place?
Beneath the “mask” of anxiety, stress, or depression, lies unresolved traumas (childhood, adult, or generational) we are struggling to face. And if we do not address those traumas, then, according to epigenetic science, we pass that baggage (through physiological changes) to our children who then mirror it in their own lives as they grow up.
Whatever it may be that is truly screaming out to you for some “me-time,” in the end, will do very little to address those very real issues.
Over time, you’ve got a recipe for disaster when you add to this the narrative that it’s “normal” to come home, lounge on the couch and binge watch shows for hours. This cycle disconnects you even further from the world around you and leaves you feeling more alone, and more depressed than before.
This is how we misguidedly deal with mental-health these days through the #selfcare movements. Only when the symptoms of anxiety and stress (brought on by the lives we lead) become too much to bear do we perceive it necessary to do some self-care.
Because of our childhoods, genetics and experiences, the cards have been stacked… and often not in our favor. During our childhoods, we’re not taught about creating a life we enjoy, we’re taught about creating a life we can financially gain from. A life that yields the most power. Kindness is only encouraged if we are still “winning.” Lessons of good nutrition are often abandoned because it is easier to slap mac-and-cheese in a bowl than enforce dinners where nutrition takes center stage. Outdoor play gets substituted by electronics, and as adults, addressing past traumas is just not in our busy schedules.
This is where healing should begin. Instead of looking at self-care as a temporary way to relieve some stress, look at it as a long-term journey in which you consciously create small, daily habits that bring you closer to the life you want to lead, every day. Bath time is not an escape, but a pleasurable indulgence. Our minds are powerful, and a simple mind set change holds more power than we realize.
All of these steps can contribute to actually living a life that you do not ultimately need freedom from, but a life that you are eager to wake up to every day.
Think of ways you can change the environment around you for the better, ways you can bring more love and joy to your life, and ways you can create and explore. In the end, when self-care becomes something part of your natural, daily routine, you no longer need anything to escape from.
These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any medical concern you should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Full Medical Disclaimer.